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WILMORE, Ky. (Jan. 11, 2024) — Asbury University and the University of Kentucky College of Nursing are pleased to announce a dual enrollment agreement for students to complete both an Asbury bachelor’s degree and, after transferring to UK with preferred admission to the UK College of Nursing, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) in under five years, meeting a direct need for highly qualified nurses in the state of Kentucky and beyond.    

“The importance of training new nurses is a major national and state priority, and the program at the University of Kentucky prepares high performing nursing students who can promptly develop and utilize the latest and most advanced techniques and medical treatments for patients,” said Asbury University Provost and Chief Academic Officer Sherry Powers, Ed.D. “Asbury students with a foundation in Christian liberal arts combined with their nursing education are well equipped health care professionals with valuable job-ready skills, competencies to establish trusting relationships with patients, skillful understanding of the diverse needs of individuals, critical thinking skills that facilitate high level decision-making and expertise to navigate the world with Christian generosity and wisdom.”

The partnership program is designated as the Dual Degree Nursing Program and became effective in the curricula of both Asbury University and the UK College of Nursing on Jan. 1, 2024. It includes the UK College of Nursing Traditional and Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) tracks. Each academic year, UK will have allotted spaces for Asbury students for the Traditional BSN and the ABSN under this dual degree agreement.

“We are so excited to partner with Asbury University to develop the next generation of nurses. This coordinated effort between our institutions will help us to address the statewide emergency nursing shortage declared by the governor,” said UK College of Nursing Dean Rosalie Mainous, Ph.D. “We are proud to expand our BSN program to create well-rounded, highly qualified nurses in partnership with Asbury. This dual enrollment agreement will help more students follow their passion, combining the best both universities have to offer, so these students may serve their communities through the delivery of quality health care.”

UK’s BSN program is ranked in the top 2% nationally by U.S. News and World Report 2023. The program boasts an 8-to-1 student to faculty ratio in undergraduate clinical groups and 75% or more of graduating BSN classes have job offers prior to graduation. Additionally, graduates achieve a 98% passing rate on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).

The Asbury and UK Dual Degree Agreement is to be reviewed every five years prior to the beginning of the academic year by the designated representative of each school and updated as appropriate. The new partnership is one of several new majors, minors, concentrations and partnerships at Asbury, as the school continuously seeks to meet the needs of today’s workforce — in a Christian liberal arts setting with small class sizes and personal attention for students.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.  

This article was originally written for UKNOW.